A Charlotte Mason preschool is a bit different from the traditional preschool education that most of us are used to. Preschool lessons also vary between each child and are dependent on student readiness.
Do you have little ones who are eager to get started with school? When you’re a beginner homeschooler, everything can seem a bit chaotic. I’ll share a bit of how we implement preschool lessons in our homeschool.
New to Charlotte Mason education? Learn more about the different methods of homeschool here.
Charlotte Mason Homeschool for preschool
Homeschooling preschoolers is not compulsory. But I definitely understand how much little ones want to imitate their older siblings with their lessons.
Or maybe you have a preschooler who is “ready”. In any case, my recommendation is to start slow. And when in doubt, do less.
Meaning, doing too much too soon is more dangerous than doing too little at this age.
And if you have time for nothing else, read to your child!
But for those of you who want a little more for your preschoolers, stick around! I’m sharing more about how we homeschool our preschoolers, the Charlotte Mason way.
So, what should we do with our little ones during these early years?
Remember that different children learn at different rates. And these are only suggestions of things we have done in our home. Don’t feel as though they are a requirement.
But when your child is ready, here are a few examples:
- read aloud picture books and stories of your choice
- learn letter names & sounds they make
- put together letters and make short words
- learn new words through regular reading to the child (short form about 10-15 minutes)
- identifying shapes
- counting songs
- simple addition using real life objects and situations
- number games (dominoes, number lotto)
- board games with dice or counting places
- time telling (clock with movable hands)
Real life learning
And then there are the real life experiences for around the home and farm chores.
- Helping mom with household chores
- Cleaning windows and smudges on the wall
- Picking up their toys
- Making beds
- Cleaning the dinner table
- Sweeping the floor
- Gathering eggs
- Feeding and watering the animals
- Helping in the garden
- Helping with laundry
I take our clothes out to hang on the clothesline majority of the time now – weather permitting. Then I have my toddlers “help” and with plans to work on development, they are getting a mini clothesline to hang low for their reach.
They also help mom fold and put laundry away. The older children put their laundry away on their own now.
The important thing to know about learning is that it is based off of the readiness of each individual child and their development, so it will vary with each child. I provide them with tools and show them how to work on something, then I allow them time to learn.
Let them once get in touch with Nature, and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight through life.” – Charlotte Mason(Source)
Children should spend as much out of doors time as possible. Especially at this young age. You can incorporate nature study lessons into your day too.
Some really great books to use as a fun resource are the One Small Square series and the Crinkleroot books. I’ll link a few options below.
What children learn from outdoor time:
- greater appreciation of nature and its Creator
- refined motor skills
- better understanding of animal and plant life
- observation skills
“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life” – Charlotte Mason
And by “discipline” Charlotte meant the importance of cultivating good habits in our children.
Charlotte Mason encouraged mothers to begin to form good habits from a young age. Forming good habits early on is so important! And if we don’t do this, the bad habits will take over.
“ ‘Sow a habit, reap a character.’ But we must go a step further back, we must sow the idea or notion which makes the act worth while.” – Charlotte Mason
How do we form good habits in young children? First, we must model the behavior ourselves.
Art, Picture, and Music Study
It would be hard to estimate the refining, elevating influence of one or two well-chosen works of art, in however cheap a reproduction.” – Charlotte Mason
We love art & music study in our home. It helps to create an environment of learning.
For young children, it does not mean formal lessons. We really enjoy these I Spy art books.
In addition to creating artwork of their own, handicrafts can be introduced based on readiness of child.
Here are a few suggestions for preschool ages:
- cutting & pasting
- bead art or jewelry making with beads
- lacing cards
- melted crayon ornaments
- create nature wreath
- pinecone bird feeders
- flower pressing